I saw her walk toward us. She was so beautiful, but I had no idea who she was until he said, “Amy”, with admiration in his voice. I looked up at him, his smile told a story and fear reached into me.
“No, this can not be happening to me,” I thought. I was having a hard time breathing, and my face was hot. I was speechless and I wanted to burst into tears. Was this “the Amy”? The one that he always talked about from high school with longing in his voice. The one that he adored?
I looked down at the floor, my shoulders shrunk with my heart. Out of all the churches in this town, she had to go to this one? Our marriage was already in turmoil, the last thing I needed was to add her to the mix.
She was as kind to me as she was to him. I could see why he liked her, she was soft spoken, beautiful, and genuine. I wanted to turn and run in the other direction, but somehow I was able to stay still and not make a scene.
The rest of church was a waste. My mind was flooded with insecurity and fear. I was nothing like her and never would be. I couldn’t concentrate.
I couldn’t concentrate.
If this wasn’t bad enough, it got worse a few weeks later when we were called into primary. Guess who else was in primary? “Yep, it was Amy.” I hated going to church because for me primary was torture, she became a trigger. I think for him it was bliss. I felt so bad, so worthless. The ‘what ifs’ plagued me. What if each week he was pretending like he was married to her? What if hearing her voice and seeing her smile made his heart pitter patter. I was nothing!
I remember one week she asked me to speak and I kindly declined. He was so angry at me. He didn’t care that I couldn’t speak, my anxiety kept me from it. All he cared about was that I was embarrassing him to his beloved AMY.
She Became A Trigger
I feel shame about this, but Amy became a trigger. I can look back and see that she did not have feelings for him the way he felt for her. She was newly married and had a beautiful baby. She was always so very kind to me. I feel bad that I never took the time or energy to get to know her. I just wanted her as far away from me as I could get her. To me she was on a pedestal and I could never measure up. Maybe a part of me even blamed her for her beauty and her grace.
I need to forgive myself for my behavior. I really was doing the very best that I could. I was her equal, but my poor self-esteem and comparison kept me from being able to see her as a person. I objectified her and only saw her as a threat.
My husband used to always tell me that I couldn’t connect with people. I guess there is a painful truth to his words. I can see now that there were many women who I put on a pedestal. I thought, “Why would they want to be friends with me? I am plain.” I without knowing it became unreachable to them.
I built the barrier
It wasn’t until years later that I realized I kept myself from connecting with women who I perceived were better than me. I built a wall that kept me from them. I told myself lies of my unworthiness that created a barrier, and I felt disappointment and sorrow at the loss. I still have to watch for this pattern. It is hard for me to approach some people because I feel like I am not worthy of them.
Bringing the barrier down
When I started working on Comparison I was able to bring down a barrier that kept me from others. Instead of seeing women as objects that were against me, I am now able to see them as allies in the same race. I have to stay conscious, and it is for sure a work in progress, but I am able to see people for what they are. They are people. We are all is struggle doing the best that we can.
Now days I work really hard on not writing myself off before others get the chance to get to know me. I do have value and worth as is. If you struggle too, I hope that you will join me on this journey to remove walls and keep myself from building new ones.